Winner of Wines of South Africa International Sommelier Cup Announced

Marc Almert of Germany is the winner of the 2016 Wines of South Africa (WOSA) International Sommelier Cup, with Joe Yang of Macau and Nathan Morrell of Canada tying for second place. The top three finalists were amongst the elite group of eight contestants flown to the Cape Winelands to compete in the prestigious event this fall. The other participants were from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States of America and Kenya. Held every three years, the Sommelier Cup seeks to raise awareness of South Africa’s wine excellence amongst international restaurant, hotel and style-bar influencers. As they […]

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South Africa’s Spier Wines Respect What the Vineyard Hands Them

New Life on the Old Werf Life on the Spier farm is textured, diverse, nurturing. Our Fair Trade accredited hotel and modern conference facilities offers peace in the vineyards, riverside rambles, food experiences and encounters with eagles. Our restored historical farmyard, the Werf, is surrounded by the original farm precinct buildings. These feature 21 architecturally noteworthy Cape Dutch gables – the most on any South African wine estate – making Spier a landmark destination in the Cape winelands. At our wine tasting room on the farm, we give visitors an opportunity to experience what we value most at Spier, in […]

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Pairing Wine with 7 Turkey Dishes from Bacon to Turducken

Yesterday, Leanne and I chatted about great wine with Thanksgiving trukey on CTV. We started with “basic” roast turkey, but went way beyond with citrus and Cajun turkey, and even that oddity turducken. Click on the arrow above to play the video. You can also watch our second chat about pairing wine with turkey left-overs from turkey tetrazzini to (oh yes) turkey pizza! (1) Roast Turkey         Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy                 Wits End Luna Shiraz 2014 Wine Review Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia   […]

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Taste Ontario! Defies Wine Stereotypes

Two Taste Ontario! events featured large tastings of Ontario wine recently. There wa strong representation of provincial wineries pouring a wide range of styles largely from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Ontario vintages. You’ll find 100+ wine reviews from our team here, along with which stores have the wines in stock now. You’ll get a sense of the strong attendance and energy in the room from the video below (click on the arrow to play it). I was particularly impressed with the riesling, chardonnay and viognier wines I tasted. Meanwhile, Ontario Pinot Noir may have its best year ever in 2013.   Several of our team members enjoying […]

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How to Get the Most from a Wine Show? 17 Insider Tips

You’ll find my Top 10 Wine Shows in Canada list, as well as a tongue-in-cheek story of attending a show. And here are my top tips on how to get the most from a wine show: 1. To build your stamina in the weeks leading up to the show, walk around Price Club during the weekends. Eat lots of the cheese-doodles and toothpick wieners. And be nice to the Demo Lady: she may well be pouring your sample at the show. 2. Eat before you come to the show even though there are often lots of food exhibitors. A full […]

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Holiday Wine Team Tasting: Your Wines for Gift Giving and Entertaining

On Sunday, 22 wine-loving, football-sacrificing souls (it was Grey Cup) gathered to taste more than 70 spectacular wines. Click on the arrow above to hear about Jennifer’s favourite wine from the tasting, a Chilean Carmenere with bright acidity, nice little spice, great for a wide variety of foods. Jennifer MacDonald Havers Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen                 Monique explains her reasons for picking Taittinger Champagne to toast her celebration events.         Monique Ippolito Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine               Craig’s take on Beringer Quantum red […]

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The First Sale is Based on the Wine Label; the Second on What’s in the Bottle – Global TV

It’s never too early to talk wine! I enjoyed chatting with Steve and Sophie on Global TV’s BC Morning Show. Click on the arrow above above to play the video clip. We chatted about tips on how to spot great wines in the liquor store in general, as well as about four terrific bargain wines, including Quails Gate Riesling, Okanagan Valley; Goats do Roam, South Africa; Sumac Ridge Tribute Sparkling Wine, Okanagan Valley; and Alamos Malbec, Argentina. You can buy Unquenchable wherever books are sold as well as online from these book retailers. Stay tuned next Thursday when we chat […]

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Eat, Drink and be Wary: The Prose & Cons of Wine Shows

The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is the opposite of the Betty Ford Center: lots of booze and free advice, but no beds. (Why isn’t there a napping booth?) It arrives just in time to launch my fall re-toxification program: I come from a long line of hard drinkers, and a summer of sound sleep, diet and exercise has made me irritable. In the exhibit hall, gastronomic gusts waft up and over me from different corners — some carrying alcohol laced with spicy meatballs, others sweat and cheese, new leather and yeasty crackers, perfume and vanilla waffle cones. Sounds, too, […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in the LCBO Vintages Sept 5

By Jane Staples The September 5th release is all about uncorking a great wine.  A great bottle of wine is like a great painting; so much goes into creating it and the final product is a work of art. Like a painter working with colour and canvas, the winemaker works with the soil, the vines, the harvest and the oak, making decisions about blending and aging along the way. Uncorking a great bottle of wine can kick off a great conversation.  Some wine lovers enjoy discussing the terroir and winemaking techniques, or the history of a particular region. Others are […]

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Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 22

By Jane Staples The August 22 Vintages Release is all about wines that have achieved a score of 90 points or more out of 100 from various wine critics. There’s a certain magic in that score of 90 or above, as we all remember test grades from childhood so we can relate easily to them. There’s even a great difference, perceptually, between 89 and 90 for many consumers, even though there may not be for the critic giving the score. The 100-point wine scoring system wasn’t invented by the US critic Robert Parker Jr., but he certainly brought it to […]

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